Book Review: TFiOS Essay

1) Precious or Push by Sapphire writes about a 16 year old obese and illiterate girl who is named Precious Jones who lives in a 1987 Harlem era, which is in Upper Manhattan, New York City as a fictional story - Book Review: TFiOS Essay introduction. In the beginning of the story, Precious was impregnated with her second child by her biological father and give birth to the baby early on in the story. As the story continues, Precious meets a school teacher who helps her and changes her life for transformation and determination.

2) Sapphire’s real name is Ramona Lofton and was born in 1950 in California. She got her B.A. at City College Of New York and her M.F.A. at Brooklyn College. Been recognized for the “Fellow Award in Literature” from the US Artists and currently lives in New York City. Sapphire wrote this novel based on her own childhood, she was raised as a military brat and she disagreed where the family lived and the partings between them. Sapphire felt like her mother was “kind of abandoning them.”

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3) The author’s purpose of the of the story was to inspire people to have more understanding and compassion for girls like Precious. In 1993, Sapphire began the novel Push (also called Precious to correspond with the movie,) when she was just about to leave her job as a reading teacher in Harlem to attend the MFA program at Brooklyn college saying,”I had the intense feeling that if I didn’t write this book no one else would.” When Sapphire was a reading teacher in Harlem, she encountered girls just like Precious Jones in her story, girls who were “locked out of the broader culture.” It was the girl’s physical appearance, the color of their skin, and one of her students had children by her father that drove Sapphire to write the story to inspire people to understand the horror of being a teenaged girl in Harlem of New York City.

4) “Last week we went to the museum. A whole whale is hanging from the ceiling. Bigger than big! OK, have you seen a Volkswagen car that’s like a bug? Um huh, you know what I’m talking about. That’s how big the heart of a blue whale is. I know it’s not possible, but if that heart in me could I love more? Ms Rain, Rita, Abdul?” -Precious p. 138. This passage was not typical in the story because Precious was illiterate in the beginning to halfway of the story using words like “git” for got, “chile” for child, and “wif” for with. Another example of why the passage wasn’t typical for the story was because there were passages like this in the beginning of the story,” ’For what?’ I say. ‘I ain’ done nuffin’. I doose my work. I ain’ in no trouble. My grades is good.’ ” -p. 8. There was also a noticeable change in grammar between the two passages above, however the dialect remained the same.

5) The aspects of psychology the book, Precious addresses is sexual abuse and eating disorders. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity using force and against the consent of the person being assaulted (Kazdin). Although, is sexual abuse a mental illness? Survivors of sexual abuse will almost always develop mental illnesses like: post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and eating and sleeping disorders that all lead to suicide attempts. Many of the survivors face a difficult life and live life being out of the cultural circle with physical and/or mental problems (Zirakzadeh). Eating disorder is a definite mental illness and Precious Jones experiences Bulimia Nervosa. The etiology of this psychiatric disorder is usually comes from family who are over controlling where nurturance is lacking very much. Also, sexual abuse survivors are more prone to develop an eating disorder so are fraternal twins and closest relatives who have anorexia, situated being the biological component of the equation. The symptoms of eating disorders are bingeing and purging usually (American Psychiatric Association). The time of occurrence of eating disorders and when it is most prevalent is during the teenage years. About 50-60% of teenage girls believe that they are overweight, yet only 15-20% are actually overweight. Approximately 1 in 200 women will experience anorexia nervosa and 1 in 50 for bulimia nervosa (Duke Medicine). There is no cure for eating disorders, although the treatment is that the focus is to restore the person’s health and then begin working on normal eating habits and patterns. The prognosis of this disorder is that individuals with bulimia are less willing to receive treatment due to the more obvious symptoms and self recognition (American Psychiatric Association). The story, Precious portrays the aspects of psychology quite accurately. Precious Jones has a eating disorder due to a unloving family who forces her to eat heavily and became bulimic. She was sexual abuse, which make the eating disorder much more prevalent to occur.

6) This book was very powerful and inspiring, but very depressing to read because of the psychological traumas and the environment setting. I learned that I will become much more conscious and understanding to women who are in the state that Precious was in the story and know the “behind the scenes” story. As the story went along, Precious showed courage and determination to transform her life, but near the end of the story, Precious was diagnosed with HIV from her father who raped her, which created yet another depressing aspect about the story. The most influential note I will take from this story will be that I should be more grateful for the type of environment I live in and biologically. Citations:

American Psychiatric Association. “Bulimia in Eating Disorders at ALLPSYCH Online.”Bulimia in Eating Disorders at ALLPSYCH Online. DSM IV, 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. .

Duke Medicine. “Eating Disorders.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 28 Jan. 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. .

Kazdin, Alan E., PhD. “Sexual Abuse.” Http://www.apa.org. N.p., Mar. 2000. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. .

Zirakzadeh, Ali, M.D. “Sexual Abuse Survivors Have Increased of Psychiatric Disorders. “ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. .

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